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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the band of the same name.

Acafellas is the third episode of Glee's first season, and the third episode overall. It premiered on September 16, 2009.

The episode sees the Glee Club director Will Schuester form an all-male a cappella group, the Acafellas, spending more time building his own confidence while neglecting the club. Will tells his parents that Terri is pregnant, and Rachel hires Dakota Stanley, due to Quinn and Santana's advice and "concern" on their choreography, to help coach them to Nationals. Will is slowly being pulled away from Glee Club as he works with the Acafellas. Meanwhile, Mercedes is bitten by the love bug, but her feelings aren't reciprocated.

This episode was directed by John Scott and written by Ryan Murphy.


Will's mom is happy for her son

Will and Terri are enjoying a dinner that Terri made with Will's parents when an elated Will decides to spill the news that Terri is pregnant, much to Terri's shock as she and Will agreed that they were going to wait. Will's parents are overjoyed to hear this news and promise to not say a word to anyone just yet. While Terri shows Mrs. Schuester to crafts room that they are going to turn into the nursery, Mr. Schuester decides to have a pep talk with Will about what it would be like to have a child and talk about what could have been, leading to Will to contemplate if he can really give up his life for his child.

Dakota criticizes the New Directions

At McKinley, Will is teaching a dance number to the New Directions, which not all of them are very into. Eventually, Rachel speaks up about the choreography. It's later revealed that Quinn and Santana have been planting seeds in Rachel's head in an attempt to cause chaos within the Glee Club. Rachel then suggests that in order for them to beat their show choir rivals, Vocal Adrenaline, they need to hire Dakota Stanley, the best choreographer in the Midwest. Will challenges that Dakota has never performed professionally when Quinn counters if Will has ever performed or even tried. This leads to Will going to Emma for advice where Emma tells him that Will needs guts. Will then asks Emma how her relationship with Ken is going, and she tells him that things are going good and that despite his flaws, Ken has confidence and she quips that confidence is sexy.

Will meets up with Sandy and Ken in the teacher's lounge where they're preparing to surprise their friend, Henri St. Pierre, with a "welcome back" cake after he accidentally cut off his thumbs from taking too much cough medicine. Terri's bumbling assistant, Howard, enters in Terri's absence since Terri had to take inventory on account that Howard cannot count higher than thirty and presents Henri with a tongue-in-cheek cake that reads "two thumbs up", complete with thumb-shaped cakes. While they eat the cake, Will mentions that it's nice to hang with the guys and they all vent about their problems. After Henri reminds them that he does not have thumbs, they decide to cheer him up by singing For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Will then comments about how well they all sounded together.

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow.

Will later invites Ken, Howard and Henri to his house to practice This Is How We Do It and come up with a name for their new singing a cappella group, Acafellas. Sandy comes by to join them but Will declines, saying that with him on the team, it's "creepy". An irrate Terri comes out and tells Will that if she doesn't get sleep, she could miscarry. Will apologizes and says he'll be right in, to which Terri seductively says "I hope so", leading Will to kick out the guys so he and Terri can have sex. However, it's revealed that Terri has been having sex with Will once a week to see if she can actually get pregnant.

Terri checks to see if she's pregnant

Rachel enters the choir room with a plate of "I'm Sorry" cookies and comments that Will is not coming to rehearsals. Finn asks her what happened and Rachel explains that she went to Will with the cookies to apologize for being so hard on him. However, Will states that if she hadn't been so hard on him, he wouldn't have had the guts to start Acafellas. Rachel reminds him that he has missed glee rehearsals six times and when he does show up, he's "not all there". Will then says that Rachel should hire Dakota Stanley. A frustrated Finn tells Rachel that Will doesn't want to come back because Rachel "kicked him in the nads" but Santana reminds them that goal is to win and that they will win with Dakota. Finn disagrees and still blames Rachel. Quinn then comes up and initiates a vote for hiring Dakota Stanley, in which all but Finn vote for.

Finn confronts Rachel in the outside and tells him that she can't replace Mr. Schuester but Rachel tells him that Dakota is the right way to go. Finn still does not understand why and Rachel tells him that glee is her one shot at making her high school life meaningful while Finn has a lot more to brag about. Finn stops her and asks her if she is really mad about the choreography and questions if she's actually mad about the incident in the auditorium, when Finn ran away from her after sharing a kiss and him ejaculating prematurely. Rachel denies this and says she's moved on. Rachel then tells him that what she and Finn had was real and that Finn doesn't have the guts to admit it. Rachel says she's still going to hire Dakota Stanley, even if that means Finn quitting.

Quinn and Santana complain to Sue

Quinn and Santana update Sue on their progress in sabotaging the Glee Club. Santana mentions that Will barely shows up for rehearsals, but Sue is unsatisfied and says that she will not be happy until New Directions are disbanded. Sue mentions that they need to go after the Glee Clubbers one by one, so she can restore her budget.

Mercedes is leaning against the lockers with a look of longing, watching the other students make-out in the hallways, including Puck and Santana. She then asks Kurt as he comes by his locker if he has ever kissed anyone and he answers no, but he wants to. Noticing her staring at Puck and Santana, Kurt reminds her that they are in Glee Club and that they are on the bottom of the social heap but that the only thing that gets him by is the knowledge that he and Mercedes are superior to the popular kids. Kurt then takes her by the arm and they walk down the hall together. He asks her what she is wearing for their "Operation: Dakota Stanley" field trip and makes a date with her to go to the mall to pick out an outfit, leaving a blushing Mercedes. Quinn and Santana notice this and eggs Mercedes to ask out Kurt.

Quinn and Santana try to help Mercedes

At Benchwarmers, a sports bar, the Acafellas perform Poison for an audience that includes Terri, Emma, Will's parents and Principal Figgins. Their performance is met with applause, where Emma claps excitedly but pretends that she is applauding Ken to hide the fact that she was really eyeing Will, though Terri seems to have noticed this. Will's parents congratulate him on his successful performance and Figgins invites Will's band to sing at the next PTA meeting so the parents can be happy since they found out Figgins had been serving the students prison food.


Will reads a rave review in the newspaper of their performance, in which each of the band members are praised (except Howard, whom Will leaves out to spare him the grief). Sandy comes by the teacher's lounge and demands that he joins the group. Before Will can say no, he tells him that he got singer-songwriter Josh Groban to come to the PTA meeting and says that he will only be happy with Acafellas if Sandy were in it. Despite this, Will still tells him no and states that they have standards. Sandy then mentions a rumor on blogs and Twitter that Josh Groban is looking for an opening act, which instantly gets the group's attention.

Mercedes and Kurt together when they pay a visit to Carmel high school

Kurt and the girls stop by Carmel High where Vocal Adrenaline is practicing to recruit Dakota. Along the way, Rachel and Tina begin to notice Mercedes' clingy behavior towards Kurt. However, Quinn, Santana and Brittany egg Mercedes on to ask Kurt out, to which Kurt invites her to come over to his house for Liza Minnelli week. Before Mercedes can answer, Rachel spots two Vocal Adrenaline members, Andrea Cohen and Shoshandra, by a trash bin where one of them, Andrea, is throwing up. Rachel reveals that Andrea had won the award last year for Outstanding Soloist. She then proceeds to ask them if she could talk to Dakota about choreographing their Glee Club. However, a distraught Andrea warns them that he is a monster.

Inside Carmel's auditorium, Vocal Adrenaline is performing a very intricate and very well-choreographed performance of Mercy. A very dissatisfied Dakota Stanley screams for them to get off his stage, leaving the New Directions very intimidated. As Dakota gets into his car and prepares to leave, Rachel and Tina plead for him to choreograph for them, to which Dakota replies that his fee is $8,000 to choreograph plus an additional $10,000 bonus if they place in the Top 3 at Nationals. He then drives off, leaving Rachel to ask how they're going to raise the money.

Dakota in a car with a girl

Ken and Will are practicing steps in the choir room, which isn't going very successful. Will then gets a call from Howard, who tells him that he can't be in the band any more. Emma comes by to tell them that the pressure of Acafellas may have been too much for Henri, who has been hospitalized for downing six bottles of cough medicine. She tells them that before he can return to work, he has to go to rehab, thus leaving Acafellas with just two members. Ken leaves to work out and figure out a solution, leaving a down-trodden Will who believes that Acafellas is over. Emma then offers words of encouragement, to which Will takes to heart.

Finn meets Will in his classroom to tell him that he is quitting glee as well. Will tells him that he hasn't quit glee, but Finn says that he might as well have and mentions that things are getting out of hand. He then mentions that he's been getting bullied a lot by his football teammates. Will tells him to have the guts to stay with glee. Finn then tells him that glee is not fun anymore and prepares to leave. Will gets an idea and stops him to ask him something.

Puck thinks about scoring with moms if he joins acafellas

In the lockerroom, Puck approaches Ken to ask him if he could join Acafellas. In a voice-over, Puck reveals that he and Santana had broken-up and that he is moving on from high school girls to cougars. It's then revealed that he runs his own pool-cleaning business and has been sleeping with several older women. Puck intends to join Acafellas so he can score more action from the moms at the PTA meeting. A suspicious Ken warns him that his love life is on the line and threatens Puck if he screws it up for him. He then tells Puck the rehearsal schedule.

During a rehearsal with Will, Puck and Finn have a disastrous time learning the choreography, mostly due to Finn's horrible dancing. Will then gives them a pep talk on how to learn the steps by comparing the routine to baseball. They then continue to the rehearsal and successful get the steps right.

Rachel and Tina talk to Mercedes about her clingy affection to Kurt

Rachel and Tina confront Mercedes with a "gayvention" about her crush on Kurt, to which they imply that he is gay. A cynical Mercedes refuses to believe it, defending that just because Kurt wears nice clothes, it doesn't mean he's "on the down low". Tina tells Mercedes that she can do better, but Mercedes reminds them that nobody notices them and that she's tired of being lonely. She mentions that she feels good around Kurt and likes how he makes her feel. She tells them that that may not be enough for them, but it's good enough for her.

The Glee Club holds a car wash to raise money for Dakota Stanley and is surprisingly assisted by the Cheerios. Emma comments that it was nice of Sue to get the Cheerios to help out the New Directions, to which she comments she'll do whatever it takes to help make Glee Club successful, though it's clear that this is a lie. Kurt is washing his car with Mercedes and invites her to come to a sing-a-long to The Sound of Music. Mercedes then asks him if they can make it official that they are dating, which surprises Kurt. He then tells her that he is in love with someone else and looks over at Finn. Mercedes mistakenly believes that Kurt was looking at Rachel and to cover up the fact that he is gay, he lies to her that he has been in love with Rachel for several years. A jilted Mercedes angrily takes a rock and throws it at Kurt's windshield. She then imagines herself singing Bust Your Windows with the Cheerios to express her hurt and anger. Kurt then cries that she busted his window, to which she replies that he busted her heart.

Bust Your Windows

Having successfully raised the money, the New Directions are then given special menus so they can improve their metabolism. Dakota then kicks Artie out of the club because he is in a wheelchair and wheeling him around throws off the dynamic. He also kicks Mercedes out, most likely because she is overweight, to which Kurt steps into her defense. Dakota then compliments that Quinn, Santana and Brittany are "perfect" and don't need menus. After successfully insulting the Glee Club, he then asks them if they wanted someone who was going to respect them enough to tell them the ugly truth or have someone who lies to them. Finn decides to quit the club and Tina, Mercedes, Artie and Kurt follow suit. Before they leave, Rachel then asks them to wait and tells them the story of Barbra Streisand, who refused to get a nose job when she got into show business. She then tells Dakota that New Directions does not need him and fires him.

The Acafellas are preparing for their big show at the PTA meeting. Finn thanks Will for believing in him. Sandy runs in and informs them that Josh Groban is in the audience, much to the surprise of Will. The Acafellas go out on stage and sing a rather inappropriate performance I Wanna Sex You Up in front of the PTA, which ends up being a rousing success. In the audience, Terri again becomes suspicious of Emma's excitement over the performance.

Sandy tells the Acafellas about Josh Groban

Josh Groban comes backstage and meets the Acafellas. As it turns out, he came to the performance to give Sandy a restraining order after sending him inappropriate gifts such as nude photos, sonnets and edible gift baskets. He congratulates the Acafellas on their performance and leaves.

Vic gives advice to Will and Terri

Terri apologizes to Will for not being supportive and for the incident with Sandy and Josh. She mentions that they were actually really good, him especially. Will's father meets up with them and asks them if they've seen Will's mother. As it turns out, Mrs. Schuester is being seduced by Josh Groban in the same manner as how Puck seduces cougars. Will and his father decide to have a talk about how Will feels and Will says that he's happy as a teacher. Will's father mentions that he inspires people, particularly himself. He also mentions that he's registered for law school and tells him that it's never too late to grow a pair and go after your dreams. They happily hug each other.

Mercedes meets Kurt by his locker the next day to apologize for breaking his windshield. Kurt tells her it's okay since his father took away his car because he found Kurt's tiara collection. Mercedes then tells Kurt that she hopes things work out between him and Rachel. As she walks away, Kurt stops her and reveals to her that he has lied to her and officially comes out that he is gay. Mercedes asked why he never told her and he reveals that he's never told anyone. Mercedes tells him to never be ashamed of who he is and to just tell people, especially to the kids in glee. She notes that the whole point of glee is to express what's really inside. Kurt says he's not confident yet.

Sue doesn't look sastified

Having been informed of the Glee Club's comeback from their slump from Quinn and Santana, a dissatisfied Sue revokes Quinn and Santana's tanning privileges, leaving Santana in tears. Before she leaves, Quinn thanks Sue for teaching her a valuable life lesson: that when you really believe in yourself, you don't have to bring other people down. The episode ends with Will teaching the kids a new routine in which Rachel mentions that it was really good.


Song Title Original Artist Performer(s)
Mercy Duffy Vocal Adrenaline
Bust Your Windows Jazmine Sullivan Mercedes Jones with the Cheerios
I Wanna Sex You Up Color Me Badd Acafellas

Unreleased Songs

Guest Cast

Special Guest Star

Guest Stars



  • This episode was watched by 6.642 million viewers.
  • Acafellas is a fairly common name for a male a cappella group, both at the professional and student level. There are Acafellas in Daytona Beach, Ottawa, Loyola University, Muhlenberg College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Alfred University and many more. Most of these groups even pre-date Glee by at least five years.
  • Dakota Stanley telling Rachel to get a nose job, foreshadows the events of Born This Way.
  • When talking to Will about famous people, Emma mentions John Stamos. Stamos would later make an appearance in Season Two as dentist Carl Howell, whom Emma would marry and later divorce.
  • Cheyenne Jackson was originally cast as Dakota Stanley, but he had to pull out due to illness. He would later go on to play Vocal Adrenaline's coach Dustin Goolsby in Season Two.
  • Jeremy Hudson, a dancer for Lady Gaga, appears as a Vocal Adrenaline dancer during Mercy. He is a friend of Heather Morris.


  • When singing with the Acafellas, Henri can be seen holding a microphone where his thumb is clearly visible.
  • Lea Michele's tattoo can briefly be seen when she raises her hand during the voting for hiring Dakota Stanley.
  • Just before the Bust Your Windows segment, Mercedes throws a rock at the windshield of Kurt's Escalade where the rock goes right through the glass and into the car. This would be impossible as the windshields of all contemporary cars, like Kurt's, are made of laminated glass that cracks but does not break so easily, and would certainly not allow a rock thrown from a few feet away to penetrate it.
  • Josh Groban says he inducted Run-DMC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, while it is true that they were inducted in 2009, it was really Eminem who inducted them. Source.


Mercedes: Have you ever kissed anybody?
Kurt: Yes. If by "someone," you meant he tender crook of my elbow.

Mercedes and Kurt

Finn: It's hard being the quarterback when I get in the huddle and all the guys are calling me "deepthroat."


Puck: Dude, my bowels have better moves than you.


Will: You guys play baseball, right? What does your coach tell you about hitting?
Puck: You charge the pitcher, bring the bat

Will and Puck

Sue: You know the way you use your mental illness to help these kids is inspiring. And I'm shocked you're not married.


Dakota: Artie, you're cut. You're not trying hard enough.
Artie: At what?
Dakota: At walking.

Dakota Stanley and Artie

Josh Groban: Which one of you is, uh, Sandy?
Sandy: (raises hand) Ooh! (chuckles) Mr. Groban, we're so honored that you came here today.
Josh Groban: I came here to tell you...
Sandy: Yes, sir?
Josh Groban: Stop e-mailing me. This is a restraining order. Stop sending me nude photos. Stop calling me; I don't know how you got my number. I don't know how you got my number again after I changed it. But I don't want any more of your edible gift baskets or locks of your hair. And I don't want to read any more of those sonnets you wrote for me.

Josh Groban, Sandy

Mercedes: You shouldn't be ashamed of who you are, Kurt. You should just tell people. Especially the kids in glee. The whole point of the club is about expressing what's truly inside you.


Quinn: Thank you, Ms Sylvester.
Sue: For what?
Quinn: For teaching me a valuable life lesson. When you really believe in yourself, you don't have to bring other people down.

Quinn and Sue




Glee Behind-the-scenes of Acafellas


v - e - d

Glee Episodes

Season One
PilotShowmanceAcafellasPreggersThe Rhodes Not TakenVitamin DThrowdownMash-UpWheelsBalladHairographyMattressSectionalsHell-OThe Power of MadonnaHomeBad ReputationLaryngitisDream OnTheatricalityFunkJourney

Season Two
AuditionBritney/BrittanyGrilled CheesusDuetsThe Rocky Horror Glee ShowNever Been KissedThe SubstituteFurtSpecial EducationA Very Glee ChristmasThe Sue Sylvester ShuffleSilly Love SongsComebackBlame It on the AlcoholSexyOriginal SongA Night of NeglectBorn This WayRumoursProm QueenFuneralNew York

Season Three
The Purple Piano ProjectI Am UnicornAsian FPot o' GoldThe First TimeMash OffI Kissed a GirlHold on to SixteenExtraordinary Merry ChristmasYes/NoMichaelThe Spanish TeacherHeartOn My WayBig BrotherSaturday Night Glee-verDance with SomebodyChokeProm-asaurusPropsNationalsGoodbye

Season Four
The New RachelBritney 2.0MakeoverThe Break-UpThe Role You Were Born to PlayGleaseDynamic DuetsThanksgivingSwan SongGlee, ActuallySadie HawkinsNakedDivaI DoGirls (and Boys) on FilmFeudGuilty PleasuresShooting StarSweet DreamsLights OutWonder-fulAll or Nothing

Season Five
Love, Love, LoveTina in the Sky with DiamondsThe QuarterbackA Katy or A GagaThe End of TwerkMovin' OutPuppet MasterPreviously Unaired ChristmasFrenemiesTrioCity of Angels100New DirectionsNew New YorkBashTestedOpening NightThe Back-Up PlanOld Dog, New TricksThe Untitled Rachel Berry Project

Season Six
Loser Like MeHomecomingJagged Little TapestryThe Hurt Locker, Part OneThe Hurt Locker, Part TwoWhat the World Needs NowTransitioningA WeddingChild StarThe Rise and Fall of Sue SylvesterWe Built This Glee Club2009Dreams Come True